BP has secured the first permit to drill in the Gulf of Mexico since the Macondo oil spill in 2010 lead to a moratorium on drilling in the area. The US authorities have now given the British company permission to continue work in the Kaskida field.
BP was forced to halt plans for the field when the well’s designated drilling rig, the Deepwater Horizon, sank after an explosion caused a fire that blazed for 36 hours in April last year.
Eleven people died and more were injured in the accident, while the resulting oil spill was the largest in US history, lasting for 87 days and spewing an estimated five million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
The oil giant said in a statement: “After several months of hard work developing and implementing our new drilling standards and sharing those standards with industry partners and regulators, we are pleased to have received a permit to drill another appraisal well in the Kaskida Field.”
The well will be drilled in 6,034ft water depth about 250 miles southwest of New Orleans.
The firm has acknowledged that it needs to earn back the trust of its stakeholders and has set out plans to boost safety procedures, including the creation of a new global Safety and Operational Risk group and putting in place new voluntary standards and practices in the Gulf of Mexico.
BP added: “This fourth deepwater permit is another milestone in our steady return to safely drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.”